Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     Beyond the hopeful pope bubble in South Sudan, scenes of despair     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     Beyond the hopeful pope bubble in South Sudan, scenes of despair     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      In a world of drones and satellites, why use a spy balloon?     What to know about the suspected Chinese spy balloon     She lost her partner in the protests. Then her twins. She’s still at it.     Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     Beyond the hopeful pope bubble in South Sudan, scenes of despair     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     Beyond the hopeful pope bubble in South Sudan, scenes of despair     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      In a world of drones and satellites, why use a spy balloon?     What to know about the suspected Chinese spy balloon     She lost her partner in the protests. Then her twins. She’s still at it.     
SUBSCRIBE MY PROFILE
HOME | BREAKING NEWS | IN MEMORIAM | PEOPLE | OPINION |
 JOBS  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 HOMES  
 CARS  
 FUNERAL HOMES  
 GOODS & SERVICES

News of Otsego County

MacGuire Benton

The News In Brief: February 2, 2023

The News In Brief

February 2, 2023

Tapped for Service
COOPERSTOWN—The Cooperstown Democratic Committee caucus nominated George Fasanelli (left) and Joe Membrino (right) for reelection to the Cooperstown Village Board of Trustees on Monday, January 30. Current trustee MacGuire Benton has chosen to pursue the position of Otsego County clerk rather than running for reelection. The members of the committee thanked Benton for his four years on the board and for bringing a new generation into Cooperstown government. Similarly, Membrino has been on the board for four years—one year when appointed to fill out the term of former trustee Lou Allstadt and three years from his first elected term. The Cooperstown Village Board of Trustees election will be held from noon to 9 p.m. on March 21 at the Cooperstown Fire Department, 24 Chestnut Street.

Benton to Run for Clerk

Benton to Run for County Clerk

By TED MEBUST

MacGuire Benton

COOPERSTOWN – Village trustee and former Deputy Elections Commissioner MacGuire Benton announced his candidacy for Otsego County clerk on Monday, November 14. With his trustee tenure ending in April, he plans to begin his campaign for the 2023 General Election Ballot with a listening tour across the county.

“I feel ready to take on more for more people,” stated Benton.

The reopening of Oneonta’s Department of Motor Vehicles office, he explained, is a central issue to his campaign.

Cooperstown Trustee and former Deputy Elections Commissioner MacGuire Benton Announces Candidacy for Otsego County Clerk

Cooperstown Trustee and former Deputy Elections Commissioner MacGuire Benton Announces Candidacy for Otsego County Clerk

MacGuire Benton

Cooperstown Village Trustee and former Deputy Elections Commissioner MacGuire Benton announced his candidacy for Otsego County Clerk today.

“I’m excited to announce my candidacy for Otsego County Clerk. As Clerk, I’ll deliver efficient, high quality services to the residents of Otsego County. As we begin this campaign, I’m eager to hear from people about how the clerk’s office and the department of motor vehicles can better serve them. From reopening a DMV office in Oneonta to innovative ways to use technology to improve efficiency and access, I will show how effective local government can be at getting
things done for people.

MacGuire Benton Backing Cheney for Congress

MacGuire Benton Backing 
Cheney for Congress
 

MacGuire Benton, former Otsego County Young Democrats president and Village of Cooperstown trustee, has endorsed NY-19 Candidate Jamie Cheney for Congress. Ms. Cheney is a business owner, wife, mother of three boys and the daughter of a veteran.

A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, she runs Prokanga, a recruiting and consulting firm focused on creating flexible roles for working parents, manages the family cattle operation alongside her husband, and is active in the development of youth agriculture in New York State.

According to Mr. Benton, young voters are looking for a representative who is ready to take on the big fights facing the district today and for the years to come. “Jamie is that fighter,” he said. 

Letter: Cooperstown vote reform

Letter: Cooperstown vote reform

It seems like almost every day we hear about state legislatures across the country passing laws that make it harder to vote. Systemic voter suppression continues to degrade our democracy and the consequences of doing nothing will be felt by generations to come.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we can do on a local level to improve the system of elections in our village. As a Village Trustee, I feel it’s my obligation to our citizens to be proactive and to propose innovative ideas.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on proposed changes to our village charter to accommodate moving our village elections from March to November. That would mean our village elections would coincide with all of our other general elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
It has been documented time and time again, that increasing the number of times people have to vote decreases the chances of them showing up. By making this change, when folks go to vote for their President of the United States they’ll be able to vote for their Village Trustees as well.

Village Democrats pick March slate as one trustee seeks to move future elections to November

Village Democrats pick March slate as one trustee seeks to move future elections to November

By Ted Potrikus

Cooperstown’s upcoming mayoral and trustee elections take place this year on March 15, but if one village trustee has his way, subsequent year voting would move to align with general elections held in November.

Trustee MacGuire Benton says he wants the date change to expand voter access as “democracy comes under attack across America.”

“Right now village residents can vote from noon until 9 p.m. in March and not in November when every other election is held,” Mr. Benton said. “My proposal gives six more hours for voting because we could start casting our village ballots at six in the morning on Election Day. Right now, we have no days for early voting. My proposal would give nine days of early voting.”

Cooperstown holds virtual information session on cannabis

Cooperstown holds virtual information session on cannabis

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk held a virtual meeting on November 8 to present information about marijuana legalization in New York and how it might affect Cooperstown.

There was a PowerPoint presentation during the meeting, which was opened up to comments or questions at the end. However, no public comments or questions were made.

This meeting was held two days before a vote is to take place on whether to draft an opt-out law, on Wednesday, November 10.

Cooperstown to consider cannabis opt-out law in December

Cooperstown to consider cannabis opt-out law in December

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN — The Board of Trustees voted to consider a cannabis opt-out law on December 6 at 6:30 p.m.

MacGuire Benton was the  dissenting vote. Hanna Bergene and Joe Membrino were absent.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh has been in favor of an opt-out law, arguing for drafting a law which would then become open to public comment. “The only option for getting public comment is holding a hearing and that can only be done by drafting a law,” Mayor Tillapaugh said.

LGBTQ+ Rights are still fragile

The LGBTQ+ pride flag was hung at Cooperstown’s Village Hall on June 1, the second year it has been displayed for Pride Month. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego)

LGBTQ+ Rights are still fragile

By MACGUIRE BENTON • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

This June marks 52 years since the Stonewall uprising began. We commemorate the contributions and sacrifices LGBTQ+ community members, activists and pioneers have made in the fight for civil rights.

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, a series of demonstrations began in New York City as a result of a violent police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a historic gay club located in Greenwich Village.

LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs were subjected to constant raids by law enforcement agencies in the city at that time. The Stonewall uprising is recognized as the catalyst of the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Photos: Rep. Antonio Delgado visits Cooperstown Distillery

Photos: Rep. Antonio Delgado visits Cooperstown Distillery

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Youth Has Its Day At Village Hall

Youth Has Its Day At Village Hall

Benton, Now Bergene, Trustees Under Age 30

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Bergene

Newly elected Village Trustee Hannah Bergene was already sold on Cooperstown.

But her first Induction Weekend working for the Chamber of Commerce – in 2015, the Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez year – she got sold all over again.

Baseball fans were jammed onto the front steps of Chamber headquarters in that yellow-and-white cottage at 31 Chestnut St., trying to catch a glimpse of their heroes passing by in the Legends of the Game parade.

“They were so in awe,” said Bergene. “They had waited all their lives to come here. We” – who live here – “take it for granted.”

She maintained that excitement for her five years at the Chamber, where she rose to marketing director under Executive Director Matt Hazzard, and for the past two years as social media director at Paperkite Creative, the Internet marketing firm.

Tuesday, March 16, Bergene and Trustee Cindy Falk, the deputy mayor, ran unopposed and received 139 and 136 votes respectively. Both are Democrats.

She ran, Bergene said in an interview Saturday, March 13, “because Mac asked me too” – Trustee Mac Benton, 23, who with County Democratic Chairman Clark Oliver, 22, have been recruiting young people here, in Oneonta and countywide to run for office.

The new trustee, her interest piqued by her work at the Chamber of Commerce, had considered elected office at some point, but “in my mind, it was years in the future.

“But why not? Why not get involved?” she asked herself. “The village needs young people to attract other young people here.”

Benton Is Planning Primary Challenge To Veteran Marietta

Benton Is Planning

Primary Challenge

To Veteran Marietta

2021 County Board Dispute Shaping Up

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mac Benton

Andrew Marietta

COOPERSTOWN – Democrat MacGuire Benton confirmed a few minutes ago he plans to challenge the dean of the county board Democrats, Andrew Marietta, for the Cooperstown/Town of Otsego seat in next June’s primary.

“Primaries are the sign of a healthy democracy,” he said, adding he’s looking forward to “an exchange of ideas.”  He added, “It’s early, and I look forward to sharing my platform with District 8” when it is fully developed.

For his part, Marietta, who has been working with his colleagues on creating a county-manager position, said, “I have a job that I feel is unfinished.”  The 2021 county budget, recently approved, includes $50,000, with the idea the manager position can be revisited next as COVID retreats.

Mayor, 2 Trustees Sworn In After Long-Delayed Election

Mayor, 2 Trustees Sworn In

After Long-Delayed Election

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and Trustees Joe Membrino and, right, MacGuire Benton were sworn in for new terms this evening at the Cooperstown Village Board’s organization meeting. Village Administrator Teri Barown administered the oaths. Usually, village organizational meetings occur April 1, but the mid-March election was delayed until Sept. 15 due to the COVID-19 threat. The mayor was unopposed in that election, and Membrino led the three-way trustee race. But Democrat Benton and the Republican candidate, Mary-Margaret Robbins, tied at 272 each, requiring a runoff election Sept. 29. In that runoff, Benton garnered 343 votes to Robbins’ 308. Unless delayed, the next village election will be next March. Also at tonight’s organizational meeting, The Freeman’s Journal was designated an official newspaper of the Village of Cooperstown. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

EDITORIAL Let’s Make 2020, ‘Year Of The Cooperstownians’

EDITORIAL

Let’s Make 2020, ‘Year

Of The Cooperstownians’

It’s Time For Trustees To Ask:

What Can We Do For YOU?

First, congratulations to Democrat Mac Benton and Republican Mary-Margaret Robbins for a hard-fought campaign for Cooperstown Village Board.

Mac won, but both he and Mary-Margaret showed a lot of class – he in victory; she in defeat – after the Tuesday, Sept. 29, tallying showed he garnered 343 votes to her 308.

He said her strong challenge will “make me a better trustee.” She praised the people of Cooperstown, those who supported her and those who were active in supporting Mac, as representative of the community’s spirit.

The front page of the March 17, 2011, Freeman’s Journal shows trustees, from left, Jeff Katz, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and Walter Franck at a victory party hosted by village Democratic then-chairman Richard Abbate. Behind Tillapaugh is her
husband, Gary Kuch.

In looking back over past Cooperstown Election Nights, that Freeman’s Journal front page from Thursday, March 17, 2011 – at right – showed up. It signaled the start of nine years of Democratic domination of the Cooperstown Village Board, which will now continue.

That picture in that front page’s upper left shows Jacob Miller dancing with mom Nancy at the 2011 Cooperstown Cotillion at The Otesaga, where Cooperstown 13-year-olds annually show off newly gained ballroom dancing skills.

Since, Jacob graduated from CCS, graduated from Harvard, and is now an assistant coach with the University of Georgia’s football team.

That’s how long it’s been since Democrats and Republicans balance each other on the Village Board.

That year, Democrats Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, now mayor, was elected to the Village Board, along with newcomers Walter Franck and Jim Dean. Trustee Jeff Katz was reelected to the board. After a year of Democrats bedeviling the only Republican on the board, Mayor Joe Booan, Katz was elected mayor.

Those have been nine years of huge accomplishment for the Village of Cooperstown, fueled by the enactment of on-street paid parking, which generate $400,000 in new money a year for village government.

A decaying downtown has been fully repaired – sewerage replaced, streets and sidewalks redone, new street lamps, benches and $4,000 trash receptacles (they can be locked during the Parade of Legends each Induction Weekend) installed.

Pioneer Park at Main and Pioneer has a brick surface, a slightly elevated bandstand, water cooler, bike racks, new furniture.

The $5.5 million redo of Doubleday Field and the parking lot, completed this summer, is world class, appropriate for the world-class attraction. If you haven’t visited it yet, do yourself a favor: Make the drive to Cooperstown on one of the remaining fall weekends.

Among many, credit goes in particular to the hard-driving, determined Chicagoan Jeff Katz, mayor for six years, and such committed trustees as Tillapaugh, Cindy Falk, Lou Allstadt and several others. Now Mayor Tillapaugh is an able successor to Katz, smart, steady, disciplined, an elegant ambassador for “America’s Most Perfect Village.”

There’s much that these people – and Cooperstown’s citizens at large – can reflect on with pride.

Cooperstown’s Village Hall has been under one-party control for nine years.

While the Democratic bloc remains in control, it can only be learned that something was learned from this hard-fought campaign.

In the long ago League of Women Voters’ forum in this year’s race – March 7; the March 18 election was delayed until a couple of weeks ago by the COVID-19 threat – Robbins suggested the “Year of Cooperstownians,” 12 months when the Village Board focuses on making Cooperstown a more pleasant place to live.

Two incidents led to Mary-Margaret Robbins’ candidacy.

• One, the Village Board, without consulting, sought to impose diagonal parking on lower Pioneer Street, unaware or uncaring that cars entering and exiting would shine their brights into neighbors living rooms, plus adding congestion to the neighborhood.

• Two, one of those infur-iating blinking stop signs was installed at Lake and Fair streets, blinking all night long into a neighbor’s bedroom.

Despite the outcome of Tuesday’s vote, the Democrate bloc should take Robbins’ advice to heart.

The Village Board has a lot of ideas, but has it asked citizens lately, what do you want us to do next?

It might be instructive.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103